THE initial stage of the $1.5 billion Ripley Town Centre will deliver the Ripley region the beginnings of its vibrant regional centrepiece when it officially opens on May 26.
Set to reach a scale comparable to Springfield and North Lakes, Ripley Town Centre is destined to be the place to live, work, shop and play by offering a diversity of retail, commercial, transport, cultural, community, entertainment and recreational facilities.
Ripley Town Centre's journey began in 2005 when SEQ Regional Plans 2005-2026 supported increased jobs and population in the western corridor.
Then in October 2010, Ripley Valley was nominated as a priority development area.
It was two years later in October 2012 when Sekisui House turned soil and the Ripley region became a destination.
In July 2013, upgrades to infrastructure and Ripley Road were undertaken, which created a pathway to future development in the area.
Sekisui House launched Ecco Ripley in May 2014, which was a milestone for the region as the first residential development to publicly launch.
Ripley Town Centre became a reality when construction commenced on Stage 1 in February last year.
The $40 million first stage of the regional Town Centre has since been developed by Sekisui House and constructed by Hutchinson Builders.
Reflecting a marketplace-theme and spanning 9,400sqm, Stage 1 boasts a major supermarket, 20 speciality stores, a medical centre and commercial office space.
Tenants opening the retail and service offering are a Coles supermarket, liquor giant BWS, bakery, newsagent, nail salon, hairdresser, massage centre and cafe.
On the health and medical front, Ripley residents will have access to a major medical centre, as well as a dental practice, chemist and a veterinary clinic.
Parking will be provided for 360 cars with 130 car spaces under shade structures topped with 1800 solar panels as part of a 480kW system that will help generate a sizeable portion of the centre's power needs.
These and other environment-conscious measures have earnt the centre a 5 Star Green Star - Design & As Built v1.1 Design Review Certified Rating, reflecting Australian excellence for sustainable design.
Ripley Town Centre development manager Taku Hashimoto said sustainability has been the centre of focus for Sekisui House in all facets of community development.
"Sustainable excellence is at the heart of all our residential, commercial and retail projects in the Ripley region,” Mr Hashimoto said.
"The Ripley Town Centre has been designed and constructed to consider, conserve, foster and reduce the impact the centre has on the environment on a generational level.”
Mr Hashimoto said the town centre will be a thriving urban environment that will enhance value for residents and the surrounding community now and for generations to come.
The centre will ultimately comprise a wide range of commercial and retail spaces, a dining precinct, a regional transit hub, community and entertainment facilities, recreational and passive open spaces, and inner-urban residential.
It will also epitomise the '20 minute neighbourhood' seamlessly connecting everything within 20 walking minutes.
On completion, the 25-hectare precinct will offer more than 257,000sqm of gross commercial, office and retail floor space and 2,000 new homes while creating an expected 20,000 jobs for the Ripley region which is estimated to grow to a population of 120,000.